The A’s cut ties with with one of their most recognizable players Friday morning, releasing 15-year veteran Jason Giambi in another move designed to give younger players a chance for more playing time in the final seven-plus weeks of the season.
Giambi was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad on July 20 but had not played since he became eligible to return on Tuesday, even though he said he felt physically fine. The A’s already have several infielders capable of playing first base and Giambi, with a .193 batting average, was likely going to find it difficult to get playing time as the team gives other individuals such as Tommy Everidge and Daric Barton, once he returns from the DL, more opportunities to play.
Giambi, a five-time American League All-Star, signed with the A’s after the 2008 season. He played in Oakland from 1995-2001, winning the 2000 AL MVP award, before he signed with the New York Yankees. But in his second stint with the A’s Giambi could never recapture his former glory, as he had 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 83 games.
Giambi is a .282 career hitter with 407 home runs, 1,319 RBI and 1,255 walks. He hit his 400th home run on May 23, and finishes his A’s career with 198 home runs, which ranks eighth-all time on the franchise list. He is the Oakland A’s all-time leader in batting average (.300) and is second in slugging percentage and (.531) and on-base percentage (.406).